CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

HolidayBuyer's Guide
Culture

Hacking wireless pointers, mice and keyboards

Vulnerability researcher has figured out how to sniff traffic during a presentation to see what tool a presenter is using.

VANCOUVER, B.C.--If your slides inexplicably fast-forward during your next presentation, it may be because Luis Miras is in the room.

Miras, a vulnerability researcher and reverse-engineering specialist, has been studying wireless presenting tools, mice and keyboards to see if it's possible to sniff traffic and insert data. So far he has been successful with the clickers used in PowerPoint presentations.

"It is possible to own someone live during a presentation if they are using a wireless presenter," he said during a talk at the CanSecWest security event here Thursday.

For his hack, Miras used a $130 device to capture radio signals and some of the information manufacturers have to file with the Federal Communications Commission. He was able to determine which messages are sent out by the clickers and what they do.

Now Miras has a setup that lets him sniff traffic during a presentation to determine what tool a presenter is using. He can then make slides go backward or forward or start and stop the presentation, the typical actions of three buttons found on wireless gadgets used for presentations.

Obviously the clickers are easiest because they only emit three commands. Wireless mice and keyboards will be a tougher challenge because a lot more data is being transmitted. "I have not looked too much at keyboards, that is what I am going to look at next," Miras said.

If Miras is successful in his attack, using wireless desktops in environments where other people can get close may raise security concerns. An attacker could bring up command prompts from a couple of cubicles away.